This week I travelled to Glasgow to meet with clients along with a marketing partner GLR Public Relations works closely with, Julian Wells of Whitecap Consulting. During our four-hour train journey – ever the journalist – I decided to interview Julian for this week’s blog to find out the value he places on PR, how he usually passes the time when travelling for business and why the former university DJ would rather listen to Disney than Dance these days.
Q.What’s the best thing about being on a train for four hours?
A: Not having to drive. I always get the train whenever I can because I can work, when you’re in a car you can’t. I like the time to think things through and focus on a task in a way that you can’t when you’re in an office – usually on a long train journey you’ve got an early start so it can be quite a productive day.
Q. Where are you travelling and why?
A. I’m going to Glasgow to spend two days with one of our clients, The Mortgage Lender, who is one of GLR Public Relations’ clients too of course.
Q. What is your key objective for today?
A. We have a session with the executive team today which is going to be important in framing the plans for the next three or four months. I want to get as much out of that session as possible.
Q. What do you think about PR and what it adds to the marketing mix?
A. I’ve always been a fan of PR. The way marketing, communications and customer service have evolved over recent years has brought PR skills to the fore because of the rise in things like blogs and social media. For me there are two strands to PR, the first of which is the ability to write in an interesting and engaging way. Writing is a real skill and hugely underestimated and, in my opinion, sometimes undervalued.
It amazes me how many people can’t write, the standard of writing in the world is generally horrendous, so many people don’t know how to use grammar or spell so having that skill adds value to any business.
The second strand is the ability to think clearly, on the spot and under pressure about the right course of action and the right thing to do and say, really good people like you (thanks Julian) have the ability to do that, a lot of people can’t do it at all, so it’s a rare and valuable skill.
Q. You’ve worked with the GLR Public Relations team on a number of occasions, can you share an example of where the results we’ve achieved have exceeded your expectations?
A. GLR Public Relations has played a really big role in taking The Mortgage Lender from launch through to its first birthday last month, being part of the in-house team and always full of ideas and enthusiasm. You’ve created a PR footprint that has put them on the map across traditional and digital media and delivered great value for money.
Q. We know you used to DJ at university, when was the last time you performed and what is your summer 2017 tune?
A.I DJ’d at a festival in Wiltshire called Camelfest in June, I get invited to play at parties from time to time but I’ve not DJ’d at a club for a few years now.
My daughter chooses most of the music I listen to lately and one of the favourites recently has been ‘You’re welcome’, by Dwayne Johnson (from Disney’s Moana).
Q. Starbucks, Café Nero or Waitrose coffee?
A. Starbucks every time, it’s a latte for me.